History records and explains the past, and it also affects our future. John Gardner once said "history never looks like history when you are living through it." Studying history is not just remembering facts about the Civil War or the Industrial Revolution; we are living through what history books will be teaching tomorrow.
The United States is an urbanized, industrialized, and technologically advanced culture as a direct result of events from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Many wars were fought, many laws were signed, presidents elected, and influential men and women spoke their minds to get us where we are today.
History can be a good base for careers in teaching, government, and law, among others.